May 2010 Issues Index

Ipsos MORI's May Issues Index shows that the highest level of concern about the economy that we have ever recorded

May 2010 Issues Index

Concern about the economy is the highest ever

Fieldwork: 7th - 13th160May 2010

160

Ipsos MORI's160May Issues Index shows that the160highest level of concern about the economy that we have ever recorded.160Seven in ten (71%) place it among the most important issues facing the country, (an increase of 16 percentage points since April) and for over half (53%) it is the single most important issue. The last time it160approached these levels of concern was when it reached 70%160following the second banking bailout in January 2009, but had been in decline since then; however it has remained the most important issue160facing Britain, without interruption,160since September 2008.

160

The majority of fieldwork for this survey was undertaken after election day and before the announcement of the new government. However, the lack of government160during this time was not an issue that concerned the public; only one percent mentioned it, and the same proportion mentioned electoral reform as among the most important issues. This perhaps indicates that there is more concern with how the new government will tackle the debt than there is with the composition of the government itself, as well as a belief that the situation would soon be resolved.

160

The second most important issue concerning160the public160is race relations/immigration. Approaching one in four (38%) place race relations/immigration among the most important issues, an increase of nine percentage points since April, and the highest figure in over two years. This increase might be partly to do with concerns around the coalition government being able to reach a consensus on an issue where their manifestos differ markedly. From our Best Party on Key Issues research, we can see that the Conservatives are seen to be the best party at dealing with both immigration and crime.

160

One in five (20%) are concerned with crime/ law and order as an issue facing the country, a drop of five percentage points, and the lowest score since June 2004. The fall in importance of this issue may reflect the fact that other issues were focused on during the campaign and post-election negotiations, since slightly more are concerned about education (23%), unemployment and the NHS (both 22%).

160

Pensions/benefits/Social security is among the key issues facing the country for one in ten (10%), the highest level since December 2006, which may indicate concerns around the new administration's policy on welfare provision; historically, this is an area that the Labour party were seen as best at.

160

Technical note Ipsos MORI's Issues Index is conducted monthly and provides an overview of the key issues concerning the country. Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative quota sample of 1,045 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. The questions are spontaneous - i.e. respondents are not prompted with any answers.160 Ipsos MORI's Capibus vehicle was used for this survey.160Interviews are conducted in-home at 181 sampling points across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted160face-to-face160between1607th-13th160May1602010. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.

More insights about Public Sector

Society